Ludhiana In the absence of hydraulic ladders, firefighters were seen struggling to put out the fire which broke out at Swami Vivekanand Vihar Apartments in BRS Nagar on Thursday afternoon. A network of water pipes had to be laid to reach the burning fifth floor of the building, which is a cumbersome and time-consuming process. Although fires have been reported in high-rise buildings, the proposal to purchase hydraulic ladders has been on hold since 2008. In December 2021, the civic body had given the green light for the purchase of a hydraulic ladder 50m high as part of the Smart City Mission, but a senior official, who wished to remain anonymous, said the order had been dropped. Meanwhile, procrastination by the civic body has cost Swami Vivekan and Vihar Flats dearly. “If the flames had been brought under control quickly, there would not have been so much damage. However, the firefighters arrived on site an hour late, and they did not even have a hydraulic ladder. The fire which could have been brought under control in one hour took three hours to bring under control without a hydraulic ladder,” said Swami Vivekanand Flats Welfare Society Secretary Vinay Gupta. “The first firefighters dispatched to the scene did not have a pressure gun. Firefighters had to call for a fire department with the gun mounted on it, but even then the ejected jet couldn’t reach the flames on the fifth floor,’ he said. after a fire was reported. A proposal to purchase a hydraulic ladder was also made after the Surat training center tragedy, but no lessons were learned and the situation on the ground remains the same. The ladders will save firefighters time and effort and will make it easier to rescue trapped people as we won’t have to enter the building. availability of an hydraulic ladder after the fire broke out on the fifth floor of the building. “I asked the officials to submit a proposal for the purchase of the hydraulic ladder,” she said.